Tonight’s Concert Picks: Brethren at World Cafe Live, Frog Holler at Johnny Brenda’s, Gov’t Mule at The Tower Theater and more

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

World Cafe Live welcomes aggressive indie folk outfit Brethren to its stage tonight. The Lancaster, PA natives released their latest single “There’s No Use” at the end of September. The track is just as pretty as it is melancholic but it works. Its harmonies and guitar melodies bring to mind the smooth sounds of the Beach Boys. Stream it below and get tickets here.

Continue reading →


Download The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 7 (feat. Waxahatchee, Pissed Jeans, Ruby the Hatchet + more)

kss vol 7

The latest edition of our Key Studio Sessions compilations is out today – now streamable and downloadable from Soundcloud!  Check out this year’s in-studio appearances with The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 7, including the down-tempo folk stylings of Waxahatchee, the thrashing punk of Pissed Jeans and the all-out rock jams of Ruby the Hatchet.  Thanks to production assistants Fred Knittel, Madeleine Lesperance, and Dan Malloy as well as photographers Rachel Del Sordo and Kate McCann, and videographers The Angry Mountain, HotBox Studios and Out of Town Films for sharing their work. Continue reading →


The Week’s Best MP3s, incl. Bad Braids, Les Professionnels, Owen, Fort Frances


Previewing songs from an upcoming album, Mike Kinsella brought his solo project Owen to Folkadelphia recently.  The Chicago native and former member of Cap’n Jazz and American Football performed four intimate songs for the session, including “Love is Not Enough,” which you can stream and download below.  Check out the full session here.

Local remixers Les Professionnels kicked off their inaugural Just Say Yes Party last week with a free download of “Just Say Yes.”  The dance jam features contributions from a number of collaborators including Anna Lunoe and The Dead Rose Music Company.  Stream and download “Just Say Yes” below.

This week on Unlocked, The Key looked at Bad Braids‘ new album Supreme Parallel.  The feature started off on Monday with a free download of “Pennies” from the local project of Megan Biscieglia, a track that shows off the delicate but powerful traits of the multi-instrumentalist’s music.  Take a look back at the ful Unlocked installment here.

South Philly singer-songwriter Ryan Tennis and his nine-piece Clubhouse Band stopped by recently for a Key Studio Session.  Recording four songs that span Tennis’s creative palate, the band worked their numbers to the greatest advantage during the session.  Download “Madeline” below and get the full session here.

Chicago’s Fort Frances were featured on Tuesday’s My Morning Download with their song “I Had Love.”  Melding a rootsy jangle with a singer-songwriter vibe, the new band are instant ear catchers and are now supporting their second studio effort, this week’s Harbour EP.


The Week So Far: 11 must-read stories on The Key (incl. Bad Braids, Pattern is Movement, Johnny Marr)

richie havens

Legendary folk musician Richie Havens is remembered for his soulful voice and historic set at Woodstock [link]

Mike Kinsella of Owen previewed new material in this week’s Folkadelphia session [link]

In celebration of Earth Day, The Key took a look back at Philadelphia’s Earth Week in 1970 [link]

Suzie Brown, Cheers Elephant and more to play the 65th Annual Pastorius Park Free Summer Concert Series in Chestnut Hill [link]

Ryan Tennis brings his nine-piece band to XPN for a Key Studio Session [link]

Make Music Philly brings DIY concerts to the streets on June 21st [link]

Johnny Marr gives advice and talks about his new solo album in an interview with Nikki Volpicelli [link]

Get a look inside Pattern is Movement‘s recording process with an “album screening” at PhilaMOCA [link]

Bad Braids‘ upcoming Supreme Parallel is featured in this week’s Unlocked series [link]

Download “I Had Love” from Chicago’s Fort Frances [link]

Kennett Square’s Friday Nights Under the Stars announces their line-up with New Sweden, Ryan Tennis and more [link]


The Key Studio Sessions: Ryan Tennis

Photo by Kate McCann |

I knew as soon as I heard last fall’s Pack Light but Bring Everything that Philly’s Ryan Tennis would be recording in our studio in the not-too-distant future. What I didn’t know was how many folks he’d have in tow. I figured singer-songwriter, plus backing players, would equal what – three people, four tops? As we were swapping emails to coordinate plans, he sorta casually mentioned “Yeah, I’d like to bring in my nine-piece band, hope that’s cool.” NINE players?! Once the surprise wore off, and I got everyone loaded into our studio, I realized how essential the large group was. They’re called the Clubhouse Band, and it’s a testament to the community vibe of their South Philly HQ, the spot they have regular and freewheeling house concert group jams. These folks were riffing full-tilt on a rootsy chord progression with vocal harmonies, trumpet and bongo percussion before I even had all the mics plugged in. In our session we get a few different sides to Tennis’ crew – the quiet-to-exhuberant swell of “Madeline,” the contemplative “Walk On” the cathartic “Fight Song” – with local MC Max MilLionz spitting a verse – and the very introspective, pleading closer “Best for You.” Listen and download the tracks below, and look for more local live music from Tennis and the Clubhouse Band this summer.


Friday Nights Under The Stars at the Brandywine Polo Grounds in Kennett Square announces summer lineup and schedule

New Sweden photo by Joe Del Tufo
New Sweden photo by Joe Del Tufo

Friday Nights Under The Stars is a weekly Friday night summer concert series that runs from June through September at the Brandywine Polo Grounds in Kennett Square. This season’s musicians include Ryan Tennis, New Sweden, The Griz Band, Beaucoup Blue, 61 North and others. You can get the complete schedule and ticket information here. Below, watch New Sweden perfom “Way Up North (Texas).”


John Francis’ City of Love Festival to benefit local church’s hospitality effort

The Broad Street Ministry

One of the many wonderful things about the Philadelphia music community is its desire to rally around causes and make a difference in the city.  As cliched as that sounds, its true – the latest example being hometown musician John Francis‘ new City of Love Festival, benefiting Broad Street Ministry and their “Breaking Bread” hospitality initiative.  Amidst debate over whether or not outdoor meal services for the homeless should be allowed in Philadelphia, the Broad Street Ministry has created its own safe haven for the city’s homeless men and women where they can receive a hot meal and a variety of services (including medical attention, art therapy and assistance for veterans) every Thursday afternoon. Continue reading →


The 12 Days of Local Christmas: Download “Coming Home” by Ryan Tennis

WXPN’s Twelve Days of Local Christmas continues today with the song “Coming Home” by singer-songwriter Ryan Tennis. Tennis recently released his first full length album, Pack Light but Bring Everything, produced by Pete Donnelly (The Figgs, Soul Asylum, Graham Parker). The 12 Days of Local Christmas compilation is curated by XPN mid-day host Helen Leicht and the songs will be played daily during My Morning Download on the Morning Show with Michaela Majoun and on Helen’s local pick of the day. Below, download the rootsy stomper “Coming Home” You can download the entire Twelve Days of Local Christmas compilation here. Tennis and the Clubhouse Band perform a free show tonight at Triumph Brewing Company in New Hope and a show at The Grape in Manayunk on Thursday, December 20th.


Just Announced: Busker schedule for Free at Noon from The Porch at 30th Street Station

This week, WXPN’s Free at Noon concert series is going al fresco for its first appearance at The Porch at 30th Street Station. Rocking the crowd will be Canadian four-piece The Sheepdogs, who are warming up for a headlining show at Johnny Brenda’s on September 20. In another twist for this week’s Free at Noon, XPN will be broadcasting live from The Porch from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., with various Philly musicians busking around the station and stopping by the broadcast booth to perform live on the air. Check out a tentative schedule below.

8 a.m. hour – Scot Sax w/ Suzie Brown
9 a.m. hour – Birdie Busch
10 a.m. hour – Frank Cervantes
11 a.m. hour – John Beacher
Noon hour – F@N with The Sheepdogs
1 p.m. hour – Ryan Tennis


Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Lawsuits and Ground Up at Rittenhouse Square and Jonatha Brooke at Haddon Lake Park

Tonight is all about listening to music in the great outdoors. Our first pick for this evening is a free show in Rittenhouse Square featuring Philly country rock band The Lawsuits and local hip-hop group Ground Up. The show is part of the 22nd annual Concerts in the Park series that runs from 7 to 9 p.m. The Lawsuits will be playing all night, kicking the show off with their rollicking country-infused rock sound and then providing back up for Ground Up’s headlining set. Bring a blanket and a picnic dinner and hang out with some friends in the park listening to some good local music. Ground Up recently stopped by out studio at World Cafe Live to record a Key Studio Session. Listen to the Key Session here.

Folk singer-songwriter Jonatha Brooke is also playing a free outdoor show tonight. The concert takes place at Haddon Lake Park in Haddon Heights, New Jersey and kicks off at 7:30PM with a performance by Philly singer-songwriter Ryan Tennis. Listen to Ryan Tennis’ album Goodbye to the Ground in the player below.